Ice fishing in Wisconsin’s Door County Peninsula is a favorite winter pastime for both residents and visitors. With more than 300-miles of coastline along the 70-mile peninsula bordered by Green Bay on one side and Lake Michigan on the other it is considered some of the best ice fishing in Wisconsin and a top ice fishing destination in the United States.
A fun way to wrap up your Door County ice fishing experience is with a traditional fish boil. During the winter months The White Gull Inn in Fish Creek hosts this Door County tradition on Friday nights. Start your Door County ice fishing trip with a valid Wisconsin fishing license and pack your gear for a great experience.
When and Where to Go
The best time to go ice fishing in Door County Wisconsin is whenever there is ice! The start of the ice fishing season is based on temperatures in November and December, but the optimal time to go is January through March when ice is at its thickest. Some of the inland lakes like Clark Lake and Kangaroo Lake are likely to freeze earlier, however, most of the Door County ice fishing occurs in Green Bay in the early months of the year. Some of the popular locations for ice fishing throughout the season includes areas like Sturgeon Bay, Egg Harbor, Fish Creek, Little Sturgeon Bay, Sister Bay and Ephraim.
What Species to Catch
Whitefish are the fish of choice year-round in Door County and especially in the winter months, but anglers come here to target other species as well. You can ice fish for perch, walleye, northern pike, musky and lake trout. The fish you target will depend on your skill level, technique, and location.
How to Hire an Ice Fishing Guide
If you are new to ice fishing in Door County, you will want to hire a fishing guide. There are many types of guides available with most of them concentrated in the southern part of Door County and around Sturgeon Bay. Guides can provide fishing gear, ice shanties and drill holes for you in the ice. They also stay on top of current ice conditions and have the local knowledge necessary for finding the locations that are the most productive. Guides can provide transportation onto the ice, and they generally have the technology available for finding the fish.
Ice Fishing Gear
Door County is a peninsula surrounded by water with a deep freeze in the winter, so it is important to dress appropriately and keep an eye on the weather. Warm, insulated, and waterproof winter boots with thick soles to keep your feet dry are a must. You will also want a warm windproof jacket, snow pants, a hat, and gloves. If you will be fishing in a shanty with a heater, dress in layers to peel down for your comfort level as needed.
How to Get to Door County
You can drive to Door County which many anglers do, or you can fly and rent a car. The nearest commercial airport to Door County is in Green Bay (GRB) where you can fly into then drive to southern Door County which is about 30 minutes away.